Titans Texans rushing matchup

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Titans Texans rushing matchup
Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller was a non-factor in week one's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He hopes to change his fortunes Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Titans Texans rushing matchup

Here is a weekly look at the Titans rushing matchup with their opponent.

Titans offense versus the Texans defense.
Titans offense versus the Texans defense. Data courtesy of NFL.com

As has been a theme for years against the Titans, they are weak against runs up the middle while the opposing offense performs well. The Texans seem to have a lack of confidence in their run game going toward the right guard and right corner. They only have 10 runs in those directions. To the left, though, they average just under 3 yards per carry. Lamar Miller is averaging roughly 60 yards per game. That’s not enough and lends to the notion that they may start D’Onta Foreman soon.

Titans offense versus the Texans defense
Titans offense versus the Texans defense. Data courtesy of NFL.com

The Texans are stout against runs up the middle, only allowing 2.15 yards per rush. The Titans average 4.5 yards per run using their two large running backs to pound the rock up the middle. There’s a gigantic battle brewing around the left end. The Titans crush opponents averaging 9.53 yards per rush while the Texans do some crushing of their own allowing -1.10 yards per rush there. Something has to break there. It will be a battle between Taylor Lewan and Jonnu Smith versus Joel Heath and Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans issue in front of the left tackle (7.67 yards per rush) suggests that the Titans will win this battle.

Summary

There is a considerable edge for the Titans here. As usual, when battling the Texans, the key is to keep JJ Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and Jadeveon Clowney from pressuring the quarterback. The Titans must have some success on first and second downs so as to not face the Texans defense in third and long situations.


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